GOP Treason Leader Open Thread: Lest We Forget

On Monday, in Helsinki, Trump will have his long-awaited summit with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, a meeting he has personally pursued over the cautions of his advisers and despite the long political shadow of alleged Russian influence over his 2016 campaign. Beyond the allure of aggrandizement and President Trump’s affinity for the Russian strongman, why the meeting is taking place now remains a mystery. Is the purpose to discuss arms control? Syria? Ukraine? To rehash the 2016 election? Remarkably, it’s not clear, and that in and of itself marks this as a most unusual summit…
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Floriduh! Man: Friday Night Run Down

Has Floriduh! Man been busy? Of course Floriduh! Man has been busy! What are you, a wise guy???

First up, fun and games down on the farm!

From WFLA TV Channel 8:

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. (WESH) — A St. Johns County, Florida, man has been jailed on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.

Deputies say Howell Morris, 72, chased down his neighbor on a tractor last month.

The bizarre incident was filmed by the neighbor’s wife.

In the video you can see a man running from the tractor.

It’s all good fun until someone is turned into mulch…

Next up Floriduh! Man misplaces his gator.

Take it away ABC Action News:

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (AP) — Florida authorities are searching for two suspects after an injured alligator was dumped in a Wawa store.

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dave Bristow as saying the department was alerted to the alligator around 2:30 a.m. Friday. Bristow says the department was told two people had dropped off a three-foot (1-meter) alligator at the Lakewood Ranch convenience store.

“It wasn’t that big, but inside of a store, anything like that is too big,” said customer Fred Stange.

Deputies alerted the Fish and Wildlife Commission, which sent a trapper who removed the gator.

Justin Matthews is a Manatee County wildlife expert.  He said the case is rare, but alligators are on the move during June.

“This is mating season for them, the best thing to do is just leave them alone,” said Matthews.

Does Floriduh! Man listen to Alex Jones? Of course Floriduh! Man listens to Alex Jones…

WFTV ABC Channel 9 come on down!

DELTONA, Fla. – A Deltona man peacefully surrendered Tuesday evening after claiming he planted a bomb at the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office before barricading himself in his home, deputies said.

Deputies said they were called at about 6:30 p.m. to a home on North Worthington Drive near Fort Smith Boulevard and Newmark Drive after the anonymous threat was called in.

Investigators said they also received photos of a cellphone bomb.

Deputies said they saw Nicholas Licausi, 52, wearing a backpack as he closed a mailbox and ran into the home, deputies said. When deputies made contact with Licausi, he told them his neighbor had planted a device outside that was shooting microwaves into his brain, deputies said.

Neighboring homes were evacuated and several nearby streets were closed, investigators said.

The Sheriff’s Office’s bomb squad was called to the home. Deputies and bomb squad units searched the home but did not find any explosive materials. The item Licausi claimed was a bomb was actually an electrical box on a pole, deputies said.

Licausi was treated at the scene for tear gas exposure and minor lacerations, deputies said. He was treated at Halifax Health before being taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail on $10,500 bond.

We end with an example of Floriduh! Man that has everything that makes Florida Floriduh! Really old people, guns, church, and sex!

US News reports:

LACOOCHEE, Fla. (AP) — Investigators in Florida say a 91-year-man thought a pastor was involved with his ex-girlfriend, so he went to the church and confronted them with a gun.

An arrest report says Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Cornelius Jones following the Saturday afternoon incident at New Bethel AME Church in Lacoochee. He is charged with aggravated assault.

Investigators say the ex-girlfriend still lives with Jones. Jones wanted to know why she was at the church and the pastor approached them when he heard Jones’ voice.

That’s when investigators say Jones stood up, held the handgun above his head and threatened the pastor. The report said the pastor and three women went into his office and called 911.

Jail records don’t list a lawyer for Jones.

Stay freaky!

Open thread.



Russiagate Open Thread: Clown Car Rogues Gallery, Top to Bottom, Recent & Vintage


 
There doesn’t seem to have been a single nationally-known Republican above the level of coffee boy who wasn’t part of the Russiagate treason squad…


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By Their Works Shall Ye Know Them

With Trump and his Trumpkins — aka the entire Republican power structure — the extremes of grotesque behavior serve a purpose: in the disgust they evoke, they distract us from the point of the whole exercise.  That would be, of course, extracting as much cash as possible through the exercise of arbitrary power.

Today’s example — actually, now about a week old — comes from griftmonger supreme Scott Pruitt.  All the grandiose corruption, stiffing aids for hotel rooms, buying a Maxwell Smart cone of silence, unobtanium-infused skin cream and the rest was the sizzle. The steak was wrecking the environment at the behest of one corporate master or another.  This was true to the bitter end:

In his last act as EPA Administrator on Friday, Scott Pruitt vacated an Obama-era ruling that dramatically restricted sales of polluting “glider” trucks.

What are glider trucks, you may ask? (I did.)  Do they serve any useful social purpose?

You be the judge:

The glider trucks, led by manufacturer Fitzgerald Glider Kits, are new truck bodies and frames fitted with old, diesel engines that pre-date emissions controls.

Those engines emit as much as 43 times the carcinogenic particulate matter and 13 times as much smog-forming nitrogen oxides as modern diesel truck engines. In the presence of sunlight, nitrogen oxides form smog, which has been linked to asthma.

The whole thing was a scam, exploiting a loophole that was supposed to allow the reuse of new engines if a rig was totalled, but instead installing pre-2007, high polluting engines in new truck bodies.

Pruitt used a debunked and then retracted study that claimed the highly polluting engines were somehow magically transformed into cleaner ones in their new clothes in a move that bars the EPA from enforcing the Obama-era rules this year and next.

I’m not sure exactly what Pruitt’s profit-center is here, given that everyone — and I mean everyone — hates these things.

Manufacturers such as Virginia-based heavy-truck maker Volvo, Illinois-based Navistar, and Cummins, which makes diesel engines in Indiana, all opposed Pruitt’s efforts to keep the loophole open, as did UPS, which buys thousands of long-haul trucks. Name-brand truck and engine makers have invested millions in developing the cleaner engine technology.

“I cannot recall an issue with such a breadth of opposition,” Paul Billings, national senior vice president for advocacy at the American Lung Association told the Washington Post.

Was this simply bidnezz–some quid pro quo between Pruitt and the one truck company making a buck of these shit-spewing rigs? Or was this just one last f**k you to liberals on the way out?

I guess it could be both, or rather, it was certainly the latter, plus whatever personal corruption Pruitt was able to extract from the deal.  But my point (and I do have one, besides generalized disgust and impotent rage) is that this his how Trump’s administration rolls, and it’s exactly as the Republican Party and its paymasters intended it to.

While the gaudy scandals dominate our attention and most of the media effort, the executive departments and agencies are keeping very busy, creating or gutting rules, making decisions, operating almost completely unexamined, in ways that transfer wealth to the chosen few, and risk and consequences to everyone else.

I’m not sure there’s a shovel big enough to clean manure pile these assholes are depositing in our stable.

Pace Adam:  I’m doing a really crappy job staying frosty these days.

Open thread.

Image: Elihu Vedder, Corrupt Legislation, mural in the main reading room, Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, 1896



Our Fellow American (Open Thread)

Beloved commenter RueMara is exactly the kind of voter America needs: knowledgeable, passionate and empathetic. She’s a potential voter whose perspective and life experience are desperately needed in an electorate where mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging shit-stains are coddled by the Beltway press, over-represented in Congress and the sole focus of the petulant orange demagogue who is currently embarrassing America abroad. She even owns a pair of floofy kitties:

But RueMara can’t help us dissipate the noxious orange fart cloud in the most direct way — by fanning it away with a ballot — until she gets her citizenship application completed. As I know from relatives who are attempting to do the same, it’s an expensive and onerous process. RueMara has a GoFundMe page up right now to raise money for the filing and legal costs. Here’s her message for the jackal community:

Evening and morning to all the Balloon-Juice, since I don’t know when this will go up.

I guess you could say I snuck my funding link into the threads, because I didn’t want to make a fuss or have anyone feel obligated plus me asking for help takes the same effort as cleaning the Augean Stables. Huge and it requires removing a lot of shit. So, I dropped it at the tail end of a thread and let it be just in case it was A Very Silly Thing To Do.

Seems that it wasn’t. I’m ridiculously blown away by everyone’s wonderful generosity. If I even get halfway to goal, it at least pays for the paperwork & for enough of the tax debt that I should look much less of a scalawag on paper. Juicers have always been a bright spot for me, because how could anyone not love a most excellent blog that’s full of wonks who love food and pets? And I’ve always loved how we pull together as a community to help so many different people. Odd as it may seem, I suppose I’ve never quite considered myself “people”, so it didn’t occur to me to ask. So thank Mnem for prodding me.

I’m still quite flabbergasted. It gives me a level of peace to know that at least I can pay for this myself, thanks to you lot. I’m both happy and anxious since I can’t exactly do anything in return for everyone but I’m touched by your collective kindness. Pardon the length and I will at the very least try to be amusing and post cat pictures while this fundraiser is up so you get something out of it.

Let’s not chat any more about it, my culture was conquered by the British, not the French. Very happy to take this first step towards complete rabble-rousing & resisting.

From the bottom of heart, thank you.

RueMara

In the years I’ve been commenting and posting here, RueMara has always impressed me with her wit, courage, honesty and kindness. This would be a better country with RueMara counted among our voting citizens. Let’s make this happen, jackals. Here’s a link to RueMara’s GoFundMe page. Give what you can. And then feast your eyes on this lovely cake RueMara made:

Open thread!








Live-Tweeting The Weather Log For The Trinity Test (1945)

The opera “Dr. Atomic” premieres at the Santa Fe Opera on Saturday, July 14. This will be its first performance so close to Los Alamos.

To commemorate the events of the opera, Nuclear Diner will live-tweet the weather reports for the Trinity test of the first nuclear device to be exploded. The weather reports were significant, because this time of year is monsoon season, and thunderstorms surrounded the test site.

The Twitter account is @NuclearDiner. The live-tweet starts at 12:30 am Mountain Daylight Time July 16. You don’t need to be registered on Twitter to see the tweets, and you can read them later.

The photo is from the Santa Fe Opera’s tweet stream, which contains a great many from their dress rehearsal.



Thoughts on DAG Rosenstein’s Announcement of New Indictments Brought by Special Counsel Mueller

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein just announced indictments of twelve Russian intelligence officers for hacking the DNC, the DCCC, and others on the Clinton campaign, stealing data, and then weaponizing it on behalf of Putin’s active measures and cyberwarfare campaign to harm Secretary Clinton’s campaign in order to promote the President’s campaign. Rosenstein also made it clear that he briefed the President on this earlier in the week, which explains why he was at the White House before the President left for the NATO summit. DAG Rosenstein, in his announcement today, took a swipe at the GOP members of Congress, as well as conservative commentators, who have been trying to downplay Putin’s activities or outright trying to get the Special Counsel’s investigation stopped through a variety of means, by emphasizing that this was an attack on the US and the response transcends partisanship.

You can read the entire indictment here.

As is usual, Special Counsel Mueller is teasing where he’s going. For instance, apparently the GRU took the President’s campaign exhortation to find Secretary Clinton’s emails to heart. This is what they did after he asked them to find them:

Before everyone gets too wound up that this isn’t really news, that this doesn’t actually hold any of the Americans involved to account, etc, let me provide a few thoughts informed from my professional experience. First, if you’ve been watching what the Special Counsel has been doing, this makes sense. Simply put he has method, not madness. His first indictment of nineteen Russian nationals set up this indictment about who actually stole the information. This indictment, like the one that preceded it, is setting up the next one. Special Counsel Mueller is working methodically to build not just a set of related cases, but to have the indictments and the cases tell his narrative of what happened.

As someone who’s both done and taught how to do network based targeting, if I was working for Mueller, I’d be advising that he hold off on the American (and British – Cambridge Analytica/SCL, etc) indictments on this stuff as long as possible as I want to see what the rest of the network, especially the Americans and the British portions start to do now that this indictment has been announced. Even the way that DAG Rosenstein made the announcement is intended to get the rest of the network to respond. By stating that no Americans are indicted in today’s indictment, but that the investigation is ongoing, Rosenstein and Mueller are looking to see what the response will be. Specifically, today’s indictment and announcement are intended to get the too cute by half guys like Stone or Parscale or Don Jr or Giuliani and Prince, and the people they’re connected to – inside and outside of the US (remember the Israelis, the Emiratis, and the Saudis appear to be up to their eyeballs in all of this too), to do something in response that can be tracked through all the links and nodes of the network. This also includes Assange and Wikileaks. The counterintelligence officers who work for Special Counsel Mueller have the network mapped out. They are very good at what they do and will be watching to see what happens to and within and throughout the network now that they’ve grabbed a bunch of nodes and links and given them a good, sharp pull.

It is important to remember that the Special Counsel and his team have the best and clearest view and understanding of what happened, what is still happening, who was and/or is involved, and why. They also have new information and evidence coming in every day to further clarify and enhance their understanding. I know everyone is stressed and anxious, but the overall objective here is safeguarding and securing the US. That takes time. And as much as we’d all like a full, complete accounting right now, it requires secrecy and discretion. Special Counsel Mueller is conducting a spy hunt as much as he’s conducting a criminal investigation. To move from an intelligence to a naval analogy: he’s going to stay rigged to run silent and at depth until he’s ready to move on a target.

Stay frosty!

Open thread.



Don’t expect as much premium announcement shock for the midterms

Three weeks before the midterms Democrats should not expect to see nationwide headlines of 15% or 20% or 25% rate increases on the Exchanges.  There will be some states and some insurers with those types of rate increases, but there will be a number of insurers with either “normal” increases of less than 10% or actual rate decreases.

Insurers massively overpriced for 2018.

If insurers priced perfectly for 2018, we would expect the following factors to drive premiums for 2019:

  • Normal Medical utilization (+7%)
  • Repeal of the health insurance premium tax (-3%)
  • Repeal of the individual mandate (+10%)
  • Proliferation of association health plans and short term underwritten plan rule (+5%)
  • Further negative messaging/advertising/navigator cuts against the ACA (0% to 5%)

This produces a net 19% to 24% premium increase on top of the 18% (Gold/Bronze) and 33% (Silver) increases for 2018.

That is not the case.  In Tennessee, BCBST is projecting significant premium decreases (via Holly Fletcher at BirdDog:)

But, BCBST — one of the insurers in the U.S. with the most payments on the line, according to Axios — filed its request on the deadline: It requested an average 10.9 percent decrease although it had planned for an 18 percent decrease until the HHS announcement.

The insurer has been expecting $75.8 million in estimated payments from HHS in relation to the individual and small group plans it offered on the federal exchange for 2017 and 2018, said Danielson.

Insurers seem to have massively overpriced for 2018. We are seeing that with the initial MLR where insurers paid out 68% of their premium dollars in claims for the first quarter of 2018, down from a profitable 75% in 2017 and way down from the high 80s in 2015/2016. We are seeing insurers enter new markets because there is too much money on the table. We are seeing insurers react as if they masively overpriced in all dimensions.

With BCBST, the argument on the cost of sabotage becomes one of a counterfactual — “Prices would have gone down by 20% or 30% instead of 11% if things were different” That is a convincing argument for actuaries and academics. It is not a strong political argument in my mind.



Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein Press Conference

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein is scheduled to hold a press conference regarding a law enforcement announcement today at 11:45 AM EDT

While there is no actual leak as to what the announcement will be, as BettyC noted from from former Obama Administration DOJ appointee Eric Columbus’s tweet, the last time he did this was to announce indictments that resulted from the Special Counsel’s investigation.

Here’s the live feed:

Update at 11:50 AM EDT:

Update at 12:10 PM EDT

Based on listening to NBC’s Pete Williams doing his spot in the background while waiting for the press conference to start, the embargo on the DOJ announcement has been lifted and:

Open thread!



Hideous Orange Baby Takes Flight

Gotta love the Brits:

We know from the absolutely disastrous (for PM Theresa May, UK-US relations, the Western alliance, basic human dignity, etc.) interview Trump gave to Rupert Murdoch’s UK scandal sheet, The Sun, that the blimp may not float like a butterfly, but it sure does sting like a bee:

Revealing he has been told of the 20ft “Trump Baby” blimp that will be flown above Parliament Square today, he said: “I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London.

“I used to love London as a city. I haven’t been there in a long time. But when they make you feel unwelcome, why would I stay there?

If that’s all it takes to repel the lumpy orange shit-stain, I say we all get busy making our own Trump Baby blimps.

Trump just held a humiliating joint presser with May. Because he has the wit and recall of a concussed, lead-painted snail, he told a new slew of lies about NATO, made a petulant show of refusing to take a question from a CNN reporter and denounced the network as “fake news,” called on Fox News (“a real network”) instead, bragged about how he knows all about “the nuclear” because his uncle was an MIT professor, and demonized [nonwhite] immigrants:

As someone in comments rightly remarked, the only thing missing was the tiki torch.

I’m thoroughly embarrassed to be an American today, and it’s not even noon on the Eastern Seaboard. The buffoon will probably snatch the Queen out of her sensible shoes with one of his absurd jujitsu handshakes before tea time. Then it’s on to Helsinki and Putin, where new horizons of national humiliation await.

ETA: Genius idea for Photoshopping…everything:

Also, very interesting:



MLR and Risk Adjustment games (a cynical take)

I was talking with another health insurance nerd last night.  We talked about the risk adjustment pause and a very cynical thought was developed — what if the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) instructs insurers to exclude risk adjustment flows from their Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) calculations that are due on July 31?

MLR requires individual market insurers to spend 80% of their net premium dollars (minus taxes and fees) on claims or qualified quality improvement activities.  Net premiums are after risk adjustment flows.  So insurers that pay out risk adjustment will see their net premiums be lower than their gross premiums.  Insurers that collect risk adjustment transfers will have their net premiums be higher than their gross premiums.

Some of the low morbidity insurers (Centene, Oscar etc) have very significant risk adjustment liabilities as part of their business strategy.  Some of these insurers like Centene pay very little in claims so their raw MLR is low.  It is only with the significant net RA payment that their MLR ratios are near to 80%.

However, if there is no risk adjustment payments, some of the insurers in a net payable position will have to cut some very large MLR rebate checks that will arrive just a few weeks before the election.

This builds on a CSR-MLR thought that I had last fall:

The rebates are sent in the following September after the end of the policy year.

And then in the fall of 2020, ambitious state insurance commissioners will be handing out rebate checks in late September as they are running for Governor or the Senate. Or if they are a bit less ambitious, they are supporting the incumbent party by handing out checks and injecting new federal money into the state and making the fundamental background economic picture a bit better than it otherwise would have been.

I might be getting too cynical today.

The outcome would be a significant front page splash of big federal checks going to people who bought policies from low MLR insurers just before the election.  This may be a cynical take but it is a plausible pathway.








On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

This weekday feature is for Juicers who are are on the road, traveling, or just want to share a little bit of their world via stories and pictures. So many of us rise each morning, eager for something beautiful, inspiring, amazing, subtle, of note, and our community delivers – a view into their world, whether they’re far away or close to home – pictures with a story, with context, with meaning, sometimes just beauty. By concentrating travel updates and tips here, it’s easier for all of us to keep up or find them later.

So please, speak up and share some of your adventures and travel news here, and submit your pictures using our speedy, secure form. You can submit up to 7 pictures at a time, with an overall description and one for each picture.

You can, of course, send an email with pictures if the form gives you trouble, or if you are trying to submit something special, like a zipped archive or a movie. If your pictures are already hosted online, then please email the links with your descriptions.

For each picture, it’s best to provide your commenter screenname, description, where it was taken, and date. It’s tough to keep everyone’s email address and screenname straight, so don’t assume that I remember it “from last time”. More and more, the first photo before the fold will be from a commenter, so making it easy to locate the screenname when I’ve found a compelling photo is crucial.

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!

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Friday Morning Open Thread: Beating the Odds

I’ll admit — when news of the soccer team trapped in that Thai cave first broke, I assumed it was another example of testosterone poisoning making it dangerous for teenage boys to associate with each other in groups larger than three. The real story was far more complicated…

MAE SAI, Thailand — Adul Sam-on, 14, has never been a stranger to peril.

At age 6, Adul had already escaped a territory in Myanmar known for guerrilla warfare, opium cultivation and methamphetamine trafficking. His parents slipped him into Thailand, in the hopes that proper schooling would provide him with a better life than that of his illiterate, impoverished family.

But his greatest escape came on Tuesday, when he and 11 other members of a youth soccer team, along with their coach, were all finally freed from the Tham Luang Cave in northern Thailand, after an ordeal stretching more than two weeks.

For 10 days, Adul and his fellow Wild Boars soccer squad survived deep in the cave complex as their food, flashlights and drinking water diminished. By the time British divers found them on July 2, the Wild Boars and their coach looked skeletal.

It was Adul, the stateless descendant of a Wa ethnic tribal branch once known for headhunting, who played a critical role in the rescue, acting as interpreter for the British divers…

Mae Sai, where the Wild Boars play soccer, seems an unlikely place for a resurgence in Thai pride. Located not far from where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet in the Golden Triangle, Mae Sai is home to a population that has at times been skeptical of the Thai state and its institutions…

With the English he used to communicate with the British divers on July 2, Adul was crucial in ensuring the safety of the Wild Boars. He is the top student in his class at the Ban Wiang Phan School in Mae Sai. His academic record and sporting prowess have earned him free tuition and daily lunch…

At the Ban Wiang Phan School, where 20 percent of students are stateless and half are ethnic minorities, the principal, Punnawit Thepsurin, said the boy’s uncertain status — he has no citizenship papers from any country — had helped hone his strength. “Stateless children have a fighting spirit that makes them want to excel,” he said. “Adul is the best of the best.”

At least 440,000 stateless people live in Thailand, many of whom are victims of Myanmar’s long years of ethnic strife, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Human rights groups say the true number could be as high as 3 million — in a nation of nearly 70 million — even though the Thai government has refused to ratify the United Nations convention guaranteeing rights for refugees.

With little legal protection, undocumented workers in Thailand can be at the mercy of human traffickers or unscrupulous employers. But the Wild Boars provided a haven for stateless and Thai children alike. On weekends, the squad would often go on outdoor excursions in nearby jungles…

There’s already teams of filmmakers looking to turn the Wild Boars’ story into gold. Here’s hoping Adul, his fellow “stateless ethnic minority” coach Ekkapol Chantawong, and their fellow survivors can turn this attention to their benefit!



Late Night SCOTUS Scrotes Open Thread: “Baseball Tickets”…


 
… Is that what the kidz are calling it, these days?



What Does MAGA Stand For? Stormy Daniel’s Edition

Apparently MAGA stands for Motorboat American Great Again!

The Daily Beast got its hands on the details

UPDATE: On Thursday, prosecutors dropped charges against Stormy Daniels, who was cuffed for motorboating undercover vice cops while performing at a strip club in Columbus, Ohio.

In a statement, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said no crime was committed because Clifford was not a regular performer at the club, as required under the law she was accused of violating.

“My office was not involved in this sting operation, so any additional questions about it must be directed to the Columbus Division of Police,” Klein added. “The charges have been dismissed.”

Stormy Daniels was busted at a Columbus, Ohio strip club late Wednesday in what appears to be a sting by the police department’s vice squad.

The arrest came in the midst of Daniels’ “Make America Horny Again” tour, and as her attorney continues his crusade against President Trump.

Daniels was charged with three counts of illegally operating a sexually oriented business—employee knowingly touching any patron. According to Ohio state law, anyone who isn’t a family member is prohibited from touching a nude or semi-nude performer.

An arrest report reviewed by The Daily Beast reveals how two female vice cops and a pair of male colleagues entered Sirens Gentleman’s Club and zeroed in on Daniels, as well as two other jiggle joint employees.

The four officers visited Sirens around 10 p.m. to investigate “Vice related offenses as a result of complaints received alleging prostitution and drug activity,” the document stated.

Officer Mary Praither and Detective Whitney Lancaster sat near the stage of the VIP area, where another dancer, Brittany Walters, was performing in the middle of the room and allegedly rubbed her bare breasts on Praither’s face before fondling Praither’s chest. The foursome then headed to the main room and sat at a table. Around 11:30 p.m., Clifford took the stage, and most of the customers “got up from their tables and stood immediately adjacent to the stage throwing dollar bills at Ms. Clifford,” the police report stated. While dancing, Clifford removed her top and “began forcing the faces of the patrons into her chest and using her bare breasts to smack the patrons,” the affidavit said, adding that she was “fondling the breasts of female patrons.”

When the officers observed Cliffords’ antics, Detective Lancaster, Officer Praither and Detective Shana Keckley approached the stage. “Ms. Clifford leaned over, grabbed Det. Keckley’s head and began smacking her face with her bare breasts and holding her face between her breasts against her chest,” the report stated. Clifford then found Lancaster and performed the same stage maneuver, before moving down the stage to Praither. According to the report, Clifford “began fondling Ofc. Praither’s buttock and breasts” before pressing Praither’s face into her chest. Another officer, Det. Steven Rosser, watched the “criminal activity” from the bar area. After Clifford was done with Praither, Rosser exited the club to request backup to arrest Clifford and two club employees: Walters and Miranda Panda.

As The Daily Beast reported in its update, the charges were dropped pretty quickly.

Avenatti is also running a theory up the pole that the whole thing was a set up by a Columbus detective who is a fan of the President’s:

We’ll have to wait and see what he uncovers.

Regardless of whether this was a setup, I’m pretty sure that the assignment for this undercover op went something like this:

Duty Sergeant: Alright, alright, settle down. Here’s today’s assignments, but first I need three volunteers for special duty. Settle down, settle down. You don’t even know what it is yet Here’s what you’ll have to do: feel up Stormy Daniels while she’s stripping at her show tonight. So who thinks they’re up for it?

Open thread!